Digital Archive of School Photographs and School Magazines

Archive Materials - A Message from the Headmaster

We have arranged that the Old Russellian Society have a dedicated archive space at the school. I am very keen that the school should hold a complete record of events that have occurred in order that these can be referred to in perpetuity. I would like to take this opportunity, therefore, to invite all Old Russellians to search their attics, garage, (bomb shelter?), for any memorabilia associated with the school and pass any (that are not of personal value!) to the school to enhance the archive. The school will reimburse postage on larger items! Julia Powell or Brian Angel will be pleased to discuss this with you and thank you in anticipation of your assistance with this important aspect of the school's heritage.

C J Hutchinson

Old Russellian

Old Russellian magazines have now been digitized from their start in 1903 to 1927. These include all the information regarding former pupils serving in WW1. We are now working on digitizing all school magazines to the present day. If you would like to sponsor a magazine, perhaps the magazine from your last year at school, please advise us. The fee is £50 per magazine (and can be split between ex-students). Once we receive your request, we will provide you with further details. All sponsors will be credited for helping us to build this exciting website. The two latest whole school photographs have also been added along with early promotional films and recordings of two of the Queens visits. The site is constantly being updated, do have a look for yourself! The website can be accessed here and the username and password for the site are: rrsguest

Royal Patrons and Benefactors

1863 HRH Edward, Prince of Wales
1878 HRH Princess Louise
1901 HM King Edward Vll
1910 HM King George V
1936 HM King Edward Vlll
1937 HM King George Vl
1952 HM Queen Elizabeth ll

Royal Russell is proud to have enjoyed Royal Patronage from its foundation. Her Majesty The Queen visited our school on four occasions, first as Princess Elizabeth in February 1952, then as HM Queen Elizabeth on 20th May 1963, then on 16th March 1079, and for the School's sesquicentenary on 5th November 2003. Footage of HM's visits can be purchased from The Old Russellians. 

In addition, in the 1870's both HRH Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria) and HRH George, Duke of Cambridge (seventh son and tenth child of King George lll) presided at the annual School Appeal Dinners held at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate.

In 1924 HRH Edward, Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone for the Chapel.

In 1936 HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent (fourth son of King George V and younger brother of King Edward VllI) was the Appeal President for the School.


Our Old Russellian, Brian Angel, writes:
Kate's Family : School Benefactors

Kate's great-grandmother Olive Middleton (née Lupton), born in 1881, was an Edwardian Society beauty and daughter of the wealthy Yorkshire wool and worsted merchant Francis Lupton. He had been widowed at age 43 and was left to care for young Olive, her sister and three sons, at the same time running the family firm William Lupton & Co. at Whitehall Mills in Leeds.

Olive married solicitor Noel Middleton in 1914 at the outset of the First World War, in which all three of her brothers were killed. Shortly after in 1921 their father Francis died, it is said, of a broken heart. Olive Lupton, now Middleton, and her sister inherited the business and the equivalent of £9.8 million today. The textile business continued to thrive.

Our School records for 1936, when Kate's great-grandmother Olive died, show that the company had remained generous benefactors of Russell School. Their annual donations over the years, and in 1936 when our School Appeal President was HRH the Duke of Kent, ensured that any orphaned or needy children of Lupton employees would be accepted into Russell School Croydon or Russell Hill Purley.

As Olive Middleton clearly bequeathed her fine looks to great-granddaughter Kate – can we also be grateful that Olive continued to bequeath part of her fortune to our School's development?


Russell School in the 1950s 

Over the past few years Bill Forster has borrowed photographs from O.R.s of life at Ballards in the 50s which he has then scanned and added to a slide show published on DVD in June 2011.  Read More


Faces From the Past - A Mystery Solved

A mysterious photograph album in the School Archive contains the photographs of nearly 400 boys (and some girls) who left Russell School between approximately 1950 and 1965. The photographs in this Album have all been scanned and indexed and more than one hundred of these “old boys” (and girls) have requested copies and been sent them by email. Read More


School History

Click here for articles on The Story of 1853, Potted History and How Things Have Changed by Tom Wilkinson (1993 - 2007).

The History of Royal Russell by Julia Powell: Click here for full article.



Can anyone out there help us to identify any of these portraits? They are the portraits that hang in Royal Russell's Great Hall and the name plaques are obscured and we are unable to read them. If anyone can help, please email Sue with the index number. Please click here to view portraits.  


Heads of School

Please click here for a list of our School Headmasters.


Head Prefects

Click here for a list of all Head Prefects from 1924.


Heads of House  

There are 12 House listings for Royal Russell Senior School. Although we have retrieved House information for many past years, Sue would be delighted to hear from you if your name does not appear and you were a Head of House. We understand that in the 1960s the Head Prefects were also Head of their respective House. Please click here for the list we hold. Updated 16.08.2018


Pen-Pics of Royal Russell Staff at Ballards, by Richard Dadson 1947- 1955

Please click on Read More button for further details.   Read More


School 'Slanguage'

We have received various messages by email, snail mail, and word of mouth regarding the origins of many school words.  Please click on Read More for further details.   Read More


Girls and Boys Athletics Records 1961-2008

Royal Russell School Athletics Records 1961 - 2008 (Recorded by Peter King and Ian O'Brien)